Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik Wins Channelside Bid but Still Faces Court

vinik's channelsideAccording to court records, CBP Development LLC, the new venture of Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, has won the winning bid to acquire and revive Channelside. The $7.1 million bid, in an auction, still has some court proceedings to conduct, but the deal for Channelside Bay Plaza should be all said and done within the coming weeks.

The bidders were presented with an option of bidding either on the Channelside building, the mortgage on the building, or both. Vinik’s offer was declared to be the best by the auctioneers. However, a hearing must be conducted before approval and would face challenges from the adverse group Liberty Channelside LLC. Liberty made futile attempts to purchase the property last year. This time it is challenging the fairness of the auction, stating that the Tampa Port Authority and Channelside’s owner, Irish Bank Resolution Corp. (IBRC), made collaborated efforts towards Vinik’s victory.

The battle between the parties over the auction is on the verge of settlement. The attorneys for both parties submitted a “global settlement of pending litigation” accepting Vinik’s entitlement to the property pursuant to the auction. The approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi is still pending. The Tampa Port Authority will contribute $1.9 million against the loan on the property. The IBRC still holds the Channelside property as a distressed asset and will gain $9 million from the deal.

The settlement provided a withdrawal for challenges to the auction and dismissal of the suit against TPA and IBRC. The judge was not satisfied with the arguments of either parties and questioned the auction rules used by the liquidators and also questioned the actions of the Tampa Port Authority. The court doubted Liberty’s intentions when it abstained from bidding and approached the court with a $10 million offer for Channelside.

It is speculated that the settlement was a better option for future business transaction of both parties. Both parties entered the settlement; however, the actual reason behind the settlement cannot be gauged as the settlement provides a clause that prohibits any of the parties from providing any statements on the agreement to the media.